HarperCollins, Jun 2004, 15.99, 264 pp.
Peer Ulfsson stands at the funeral of his father, wondering what will happen to him when a big brutish man arrives claiming to be his Uncle Baldur Grimsson, the miller of Trollsvik. The twelve year old had no idea he had a relative, but Baldur with only a nasty word about his dead sibling grabs the lad to yank him back with him. The odious Baldur also takes any money Ulf left behind claiming a debt and even absconds with Peer's ring. Peer leaves with his uncle even while the funeral pyre still burns. When they reach Baldur's home, Peer meets his other uncle Grim, who lives up to his name.
Peer makes friends with the housekeeper Nis the gremlin and with Hilde, whose father is going on a sea voyage. Peer learns that his guardians intend to sell him and Hilde to the troll king who will use them as a wedding present.
Readers will wonder if the two children can find a way to trump the sneaky trolls and the nasty human adults. The trolls slyly use shadows to cause trouble while the uncles are an unpleasant pragmatic pair rivaling the cruelty of de Cruella.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner